JUNE 25 marks the international Day of the Seafarer, an annual celebration recognising the contribution of the global maritime workforce.
Day of the Seafarer 2022 will be underpinned by the theme, “Your voyage – then and now. Share your journey”.
IMO secretary-general Kitack Lim said since its launch in 2011, the day has focused public attention on the contribution made by seafarers to the entire global community.
“Every day, hundreds of thousands of seafarers are underway on ships, while others take their well-deserved break – getting ready for their next voyage,” Mr Lim said in a message to the industry.
“Their ships are key movers of global trade and engines of the global economy, transporting cargoes such as food, medicines, electronics and more.”
Mr Lim said Day of the Seafarer is an opportunity to recognise and pay tribute to seafarers everywhere, whatever their voyage.
“Shipping and the call of the oceans form a way of life,” he said. “It is a meaningful, important career that provides a solid foundation for life and offers endless opportunities to learn and progress.
This noble profession is something that I hold close to my heart and for many of us, our voyages are the start of a lifelong maritime journey.”
Mr Lim said each seafarer’s journey is unique, but their challenges are shared, in particular that experienced over the past two years.
“After two years, the COVID-19 pandemic still presents a challenging working environment, with continuing difficulties in conducting crew changes, and gaining access to medical care and shore leave.
“IMO continues to urge states to support seafarers by designating them as key workers, so that every seafarer’s maritime journey can move into smoother waters.
“On this Day of the Seafarer, we also look to the future. New technologies, new equipment, and the need to make shipping greener will provide new challenges and opportunities.
“I am sure you will rise to those challenges and pave the way for more sustainable shipping in the years to come.”
In line with this year’s theme, seafarers have been encouraged to share photos and comments from their own experiences at sea.